Israel has enjoyed calm borders with Jordan for over four decades. While Israel’s military superiority and alert borders guards are the main reasons for that, still, the Hashemite regime in Amman has managed to keep anti-Israel forces at bay, an advantage for which Israel has given much in return to Jordan’s king and his late father.Sponsored Ads
But will this arrangement remain the same with the tsunami of the Arab Spring? The facts on the ground suggest Jordan is anything but stable. Upon the king’s return from his recent visit to the US, tribal fights broke out in Ma’an, Jordan’s largest governorate in the area. Four people were killed in cold blood on the campus of Ma’an’s university and all hell broke loose. Now Ma’an residents are claiming “independence from the Hashemite regime”; videos leaked on YouTube and even appearing in Jordanian media show raging gun battles between Jordan’s army and tribal Jordanians in the south. The last police post was declared “liberated” by Ma’an’s locals on June 24.
Here are the report’s Key Findings, according to a summary provided by Carnegie.?
- “The most likely potential challenge to the U.S.-Japan alliance over the next fifteen to twenty years does not involve full-scale military conflict between China and Japan or the United States-for example, one originating from Chinese efforts to expel Washington from the region.
- “The likeliest challenge instead stems from Beijing’s growing coercive power-increasing Chinese military capabilities could enable Beijing to influence or attempt to resolve disputes with Tokyo in its favor short of military attack.
- “An increase in the People’s Liberation Army’s presence in airspace and waters near Japan and disputed territories could also heighten the risk of destabilizing political-military crises.
- “Significant absolute and possibly relative shifts in the military balance between China and the alliance in Japan’s vicinity are likely.
- “In the most probable future scenarios facing these three actors, the U.S.-Japan alliance will either only narrowly retain military superiority in the airspace and waters near Japan or the balance will become uncertain at best.
- A significant drop in the potential threat posed by China is also possible if the Chinese economy falters and Beijing redirects its attention and resources toward maintaining internal stability.
- More dramatic shifts in the strategic landscape are unlikely in the fifteen- to twenty-year time frame. Such shifts include an Asian cold war pitting a normalized U.S.-Japan alliance against a belligerent China and a major withdrawal of U.S. presence that heralds either the dawning of a Sino-centric Asia or the emergence of intense Sino-Japanese rivalry with Japanese nuclearization.”
But according to Sumihiko Kawamura, a former rear admiral and commander of the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s antisubmarine air wing, Beijing has a more critical but less-articulated goal that, if achieved, could tip strategic military superiority from the United States to China in the Pacific.
Kawamura believes Beijing is trying to turn the South China Sea into “a safe haven” for its nuclear-powered submarines, which are armed with ballistic missiles that can reach the United States. For that purpose, seizing the Senkakus — just 190 km east of Taiwan and close to the northern gateway to the South China Sea — is indispensable, Kawamura says.
Crises are normally short, sharp and intense affairs. Israel’s predicament has developed on a different time frame, is more diffuse than most crises and has not reached a decisive and intense moment. But it is still a crisis. It is not a crisis solely about Iran, although the Israeli government focuses on that issue. Rather, it is over Israel’s strategic reality since 1978, when it signed the Camp David accords with Egypt.
Perhaps the deepest aspect of the crisis is that Israel has no internal consensus on whether it is in fact a crisis, or if so, what the crisis is about. The Israeli government speaks of an existential threat from Iranian nuclear weapons. I would argue that the existential threat is broader and deeper, part of it very new, and part of it embedded in the founding of Israel.
Israel now finds itself in a long-term crisis in which it is struggling to develop a strategy and foreign policy to deal with a new reality. This is causing substantial internal stress, since the domestic consensus on Israeli policy is fragmenting at the same time that the strategic reality is shifting. Though this happens periodically to nations, Israel sees itself in a weak position in the long run due to its size and population, despite its current military superiority. More precisely, it sees the evolution of events over time potentially undermining that military reality, and it therefore feels pressured to act to preserve it. How to preserve its superiority in the context of the emerging strategic reality is the core of the Israeli crisis.
Although it sounds reassuring, Kagan’s argument is, broadly, wrong. It’s true that economic strength and military superiority will preserve U.S. influence over global affairs for decades to come, but power is undeniably flowing away from the West to developing nations. If history is any guide, the arrival of a world in which power is more widely distributed will mean a new round of jockeying for position and primacy. While it still enjoys the top rank, the United States should do its best to ensure that this transition occurs peacefully and productively. The worst thing to do is to pretend it’s not happening.
By overselling the durability of U.S. primacy, Kagan’s analysis breeds an illusory strategic complacency:
On February 18, 2012, the acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller, delivered a speech on her plan for making the outbreak of nuclear attack against the United States a 100% certainty.
Delivering the talk to students and faculty at Yale University, Gottemoeller began by citing McMurdo Station, an outpost in Antarctica that is used by international climate scientists, geologists, as well as experts in other disciplines, on a rotating and cooperative basis, as the model of how the world will get to “zero.” “Zero” is the theoretical concept of a world completely void of nuclear weapons. Gottemoeller spilled the beans in this recent speech, making it clear that “nuclear zero,” not military superiority, is the end game of the Obama Administration. The world looked on when the New START treaty was signed by Obama 3 years ago, and assumed that this was another step in a strategic partnership between Russia and the United States, to reduce and manage their nuclear stockpiles and bring defensive capabilities into equilibrium, while maintaining a measure of deterrence. START was, instead, a first step in a radical plan that will leave the United States completely helpless in a world where nuclear non-proliferation is a joke to established nuclear regimes like North Korea and emerging menaces such as Iran.
“New START was just the beginning. Going forward, we know that we are going to have to think bigger and bolder….
Nuclear zero is the goal of modern liberals today. As I scan hundreds of articles each day, I see many articles discussing the massive cuts to our nuclear arsenal that Obama wants to make. They mostly start out telling us that the probability of nuclear war is just about zero. And a bolt out of the blue nuclear attack is zero. So if nuclear war is just not going to happen, then why do we need so many nucleear weapons?
Why do we need any nuclear weapons? And it is America who should lead the way to nuclear zero. America should get there first as an example to other countries.
Is it really all that hard predicting calamity based on this kind of talk?
The solution is just to ask some basic questions. Peter Schiff was able to predict the coming real estate collapse by just asking some basic questions about real estate. Watch the very fascinating talk that Peter gave in 2006 to some mortgage brokers. He explained to them that soon many of them would be out of a job. Watch it here: Predicting the Economic Mess in 2008
Because almost everyone alive today in the west has only known peace and prosperity for the most part, they cannot imagine war. We are in an unprecedented era of peace. We have conquered the big war. This long period of peace has changed people’s thinking. We must go to nuclear zero so that nuclear war cannot happen.
Since the end of World War II in 1945, what has kept the peace in the west? Has it been weakness and no nuclear weapons, or has it been toughness and a lot of nuclear weapons?
In all of history, has any country disarmed itself and gained peace?
There’s an old and true, military motto, “Si vis pacem, para bellum” from Flavius Vegetius Renatus circa 375 AD: “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
How Byzantium, not Rome, can help preserve Pax Americana.
The lessons of the Byzantine empire:
I. Avoid war by every possible means, in all possible circumstances, but always act as if war might start at any time. Train intensively and be ready for battle at all times — but do not be eager to fight. The highest purpose of combat readiness is to reduce the probability of having to fight.
II. Gather intelligence on the enemy and his mentality, and monitor his actions continuously. Efforts to do so by all possible means might not be very productive, but they are seldom wasted.
III. Campaign vigorously, both offensively and defensively, but avoid battles, especially large-scale battles, except in very favorable circumstances. …
IV. Replace the battle of attrition and occupation of countries with maneuver warfare — lightning strikes and offensive raids to disrupt enemies, followed by rapid withdrawals. …
V. Strive to end wars successfully by recruiting allies to change the balance of power. …
VI. Subversion is the cheapest path to victory. …
VII. When diplomacy and subversion are not enough and fighting is unavoidable, use methods and tactics that exploit enemy weaknesses, avoid consuming combat forces, and patiently whittle down the enemy’s strength. …
Today we suffer from a fourth quadrant problem. We think we understand the process that drives our life forward in time but we really don’t. We are really driven by the Thanksgiving Turkey process: Life is good until one day it is not. Think about the collapse of the Soviet Union, or the collapses in the Arab Spring. Think about the economic collapse that started in 2008. These collapses were preceded by long periods of relative stability, then bam – collapse. That’s the Thanksgiving Turkey process. Long periods of relative stability are followed by sudden collapse. That means the long period of peace that the exists for the west will end suddenly with war. Disarming will most surely help this process.
In sum, Japanese and Chinese naval forces are likely to find themselves operating increasingly in the same contested stretches of water, with each side looking for ways to offset the other’s improving capabilities. This, too, does not bode well for a reduction in the number or seriousness of incidents at sea.
The United States has actively responded to the growth of Chinese power. A sustained build-up of air and naval assets in Guam attests to a determination in Washington to retain military superiority in East Asia – even if that means an expanded range of circumstances under which US and Chinese forces might encounter each other dangerously at sea. Through military and diplomatic moves in 2010 – from pointed political statements to combined exercises with allies and the conspicuous surfacing of three of its most potent submarines – the United States underscored a determination to retain its mantle as guarantor of regional
security in East Asia.
This broad role includes alliance and extended deterrence commitments to Japan and South Korea as well as support for a peaceful status quo across the Taiwan Strait and the provision of modern defensive arms to Taiwan. Washington is tightening its alliances with Japan, South Korea and Australia and has begun cultivating strategic partnerships. The most important of these is with India, whose own apprehensions and ambitions appear to have made it cautiously receptive to the idea of complicating Chinese strategic calculations, especially in the Indian
Ocean but potentially in Southeast Asia as well.
In an alarming analysis in an official Chinese publication, a senior advisor to the Chinese government expects North Korea to launch a war on the South in the belief that it has overwhelming military superiority.
In the magazine, Zhang wrote that the world underestimates the magnitude of the risk on the Korean Peninsula.
Posted on 7/12/2009.
This time Kim Jong-Il may not be bluffingIn an alarming analysis in an official Chinese publication, a senior advisor to the Chinese government expects North Korea to launch a war on the South in the belief that it has overwhelming military superiority.Zhang Lianggui, a professor of International Strategy at the Central Communist Party School in Beijing, also write that he regards its nuclear program as posing a danger the like of which China has never experienced in its history.
The notion of significant nuclear disarmament is unacceptable to the Russian military and coming from an American president it is regarded as a cynical ploy to gain total military superiority over the country. …
Russia is struggling to maintain and replace its ageing strategic nuclear delivery systems -missiles, bombers and nuclear submarines. In any case, by 2020 its deployed strategic nuclear arsenal will be 1,500 or less. Signing a binding treaty that limits the U.S. to the same number of warheads is clearly advantageous. However, the coming arms control negotiations will not be easy, …